Great Tips for Making The Best Holiday Toasts

Speaking in public is a fear for many, but when you are called on to make holiday toasts, the pressure can be particularly intense. Giving a holiday toast means coming up with a warm, memorable and entertaining message that sets the tone for the entire gathering. However, with these six tips, giving a holiday toast or speech will be no trouble at all. Watch out, because once you get good at giving dinner toasts, you'll probably be asked to do more of them.

Plan out what you'll say ahead of time
While you don't need note cards or a teleprompter, you should have a general outline of what you want to say and it's a good idea to practice it several days in advance.

Come up with good content
Welcome everyone who has gathered and share your thoughts and feelings about the holidays. If appropriate, share a personal story or sentiment and include an appropriate holiday-centered quote. Close with a traditional saying and signal you are finished.

Always give thanks
The holidays are a time for gathering with loved ones, so if you are the host of the dinner toast to those who have come to share your food and home. If you are a guest, be sure to thank the host for opening his home to you all and for the bounty of the feast.

Stand up
Unless the gathering is very small and informal, you should stand to get attention and deliver the toast. It ensures that everyone can hear you and lends a certain ceremonial splendor.

Raise your glass
When you are starting your toast, hold your glass about waist high. At the conclusion of the toast, raise the glass to your eye level to signal you are finished. You can then touch glasses with others around you and take a sip.

Don't ramble
A holiday toast should be no more than a minute or two, so avoid the nervous gesture of babbling just to fill space. A shorter more focused toast will always be better than a long unorganized one. 

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Giving a toast is one of those basic skills everyone should possess. It is, however, a rarely-used skill for most of us; most people aren't often called on to give toasts, which makes it a nerve-racking experience, especially if you are being asked to do so for the first time. Luckily, if you follow some basic rules, chances are that everything will go just great.

Making a toast or speech that is simple, heartfelt and memorable is easy to do if you follow this step-by-step process and give yourself plenty of time to practice the speech.

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